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The Courts Privacy Politics

FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
cold fjord writes "The LA Times reports, 'Judges on the ... surveillance court have strongly rejected any proposed changes to their review process ... In a blunt letter to the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates made it clear that the 11 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are united in opposition to key recommendations by a presidential task force last month ... their skepticism adds to a list of hurdles for those advocating significant reforms following former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's massive disclosures of domestic and foreign surveillance programs. ... Obama and some intelligence officials have publicly signaled support for creating an adversarial legal process in the court ... and aides have suggested the president will create an advocate's position or call for legislation to do so ... But Bates disagreed sharply, arguing that "the participation of an advocate would neither create a truly adversarial process nor constructively assist the courts in assessing the facts, as the advocate would be unable to communicate with the target or conduct an independent investigation." Adding an advocate to "run-of-the-mill FISA matters would substantially hamper the work of the courts without providing any countervailing benefit in terms of privacy protection," he added.' — The Hill adds that Bates, "... recommended an advocate chosen by the court, rather than an independent authority, for only a limited number of cases. " — More at Computerworld and NPR."
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FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court

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  • Shocking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by josephtd (817237) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @05:15PM (#45969505)
    Organization accustomed to operating in secret resists the notion of having a potential opposing viewpoint to consider. I understand that they feel this suggested reform indicated the American people have decided they do not trust in the impartial judgment of this panel. Perhaps we should just remove the defense attorney from criminal proceedings as well. That should clear out the case backlog, I mean obviously Federal judges are beyond reproach. Let's kill the appellate courts while we are at it too. That should save time and money as well.
  • Re:It's rigged (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @06:01PM (#45969985) Homepage Journal

    The FISA court isn't a trial court. Nobody is being "held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime." It is letting investigators investigate by issuing warrants.

    Without justification based upon probable cause.

    Which is still unconstitutional, but in a different way I mentioned.

    FYI - the fact that America has a "court" that is not open to public scrutiny is blatantly unconstitutional, no matter what rationale you try to use to justify it.

  • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @07:05PM (#45970589)

    "Secret court wants to remain secret.". Film at 11.

    The judges were originally placed there to prevent abuse, and protect the public from abuses, and in short, to serve as an advocate for the citizens. Now, when they have been hopelessly co-opted by the intelligence community, they argue that this very role has no validity, and the vehemently object to any watch dog looking over their sholders.

    While I agree with the judges that
    " Adding an advocate to "run-of-the-mill FISA matters would substantially hamper the work of the courts without providing any countervailing benefit in terms of privacy protection," its clear that this would ONLY be true because they, and the spy agencies they serve, would see to it that it was true.

    These guys aren't interested in protecting the citizens or the constitution. They are interested in protecting their asses, because they have authorized so many illegal acts on a routine basis that they fear serious jail time.

    Start with impeaching these judges. Then work your way down.

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